Stienen PJ, Venzi M, Poppendieck W, Hoffmann KP, Åberg E
J. Neurophysiol. 115 (4) 1970-1977 [2016-04-00; online 2016-02-10]
In humans, significant progress has been made to link spatial changes in electroencephalographic (EEG) spectral density, connectivity strength, and phase-amplitude modulation to neurological, physiological, and psychological correlates. In contrast, standard rodent EEG techniques employ only few electrodes, which results in poor spatial resolution. Recently, a technique was developed to overcome this limitation in mice. This technique was based on a polyimide-based microelectrode (PBM) array applied on the mouse skull, maintaining a significant number of electrodes with consistent contact, electrode impedance, and mechanical stability. The present study built on this technique by extending it to rats. Therefore, a similar PBM array, but adapted to rats, was designed and fabricated. In addition, this array was connected to a wireless EEG headstage, allowing recording in untethered, freely moving rats. The advantage of a high-density array relies on the assumption that the signal recorded from the different electrodes is generated from distinct sources, i.e., not volume-conducted. Therefore, the utility and validity of the array were evaluated by determining the level of synchrony between channels due to true synchrony or volume conduction during basal vigilance states and following a subanesthetic dose of ketamine. Although the PBM array allowed recording with high signal quality, under both drug and drug-free conditions, high synchronization existed due to volume conduction between the electrodes even in the higher spectral frequency range. Discrimination existed only between frontally and centrally/distally grouped electrode pairs. Therefore, caution should be used in interpreting spatial data obtained from high-density PBM arrays in rodents.